Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Benny Hinn

[Ever seen this guy on TV?]
Tofik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn (born 1953, Jaffa, Israel) is a controversial Christian pastor, faith healing minister, and televangelist. His ethnicity is Armenian-Greek and he was raised within the Greek Orthodox Church, but currently he is involved in the Word Faith movement within the Charismatic/Pentecostal arm of Christianity. He attended Georges Vanier High School in Laval, Quebec until he dropped out. Currently, he is married to Suzanne Harthern and his ministry is estimated to earn up to $120,000,000 a year.... [1]

Hinn has written that as a 20 year old in December 1973 he traveled by charter bus from Toronto to Pittsburgh to attend a "miracle service" being conducted by evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. While he never personally met Kuhlman, he often attended her "healing" services and cited Kuhlman as an influence in many interviews.

Ten years later, Hinn founded the Orlando Christian Center. During its heyday the church averaged over 10,000 in attendance. In 1999, Hinn sold the church (by the time renamed World Outreach Center) to Clint Brown and moved to Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. However, he maintained the legal entity "World Outreach Center Church Benny Hinn Ministries" which has been the subject of recent controversy. (see below)

He is currently the host of This Is Your Day, a 30-minute TV show that runs on various religious networks, including Trinity Broadcasting Network and Daystar Television Network.

Hinn hosts regular "Miracle Crusades" that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities. At these services, Hinn carries out the supposed "miracles" on whoever comes up on stage with an allegedly healed medical condition, whether it be Lou Gehrig's disease, or AIDS, or arthritis, or cancer. Usually, he shouts "Touch!" at them and they fall to the floor, "slain in the Spirit." Hinn also "kills" entire stands and the volunteer choir, too. Highlights from these highly theatrical events are taped and then broadcast on Hinn's TV show....

Claim of prophetic ability

Benny Hinn claims to be a prophet of God and regularly issues specific prophecies regarding events that he claims will occur within specific periods of time. However, he has a documented history of making prophecies that have not come true (see below for a partial list). Since, according to the definition specified by the Bible that true prophets inspired by God can never be incorrect in their prophecies, many Christian apologetics ministries, primarily those who oppose the Word Faith movement in general, consider Benny Hinn to be a false prophet.

Examples of false prophecies

  • "The Spirit tells me Fidel Castro will die in the 90's. Oh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God."
    Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31, 1989. (audio)
  • ""The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90’s, about ’94-’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it – with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed."
    Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31, 1989. (audio)
  • "A world dictator is coming on the scene. My! He's a short man. He's a short man. I see a short man who's a perfect incarnation of Satan. [speaks in tongues] Never in my life have I had anything happen like what's happening to me now! 'This man will rule the world. In the next few years you will see him. But not long after that you will see Me.'"
    Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31, 1989
  • "The Spirit of God tells me an earthquake will hit the East Coast of America and destroy much in the '90s. Not one place will be safe from earthquakes in the '90s. These who have not known earthquakes will know it. People, I feel the Spirit all over me!"
    Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31, 1989
  • "We may have two years before the rapture. Can I be blunt with you? I don't know if we have two years left. I'm going to prove to you from the Word tonight, that we have less than two years."
    November 9, 1990 Praise-a-Thon
  • "But here's first what I see for TBN. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching this network. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching TBN. Programs -- just plain programs -- programs that haven't done much when it comes to supernatural manifestations -- teaching programs!"
    October 19, 1999 Praise The Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • "Jesus is coming again within the next two years."
    July 1997, fund-raising telethon on TBN
  • "The hour is urgent. Many of you have known me for many years. But I am telling you right now, things I haven't said years 'n years 'n years ago. I believe - here this, hear this! I believe, that Jesus, God's Son, is about to appear physically, in meetings and to believers around the world, to wake us up! I am prophesying this! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches, and some meetings, and to many of His people, for one reason - to tell you He is about to show up!"
    April 2nd, 2000, TBN Praise-a-thon

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